In Season 5, there is an unexplained fact that Maurice hurt his leg.
Barry Corbin, the actor who plays Maurice, fell off his horse and broke his left leg and left foot (Seattle Times, December 19, 1993).
One must go back a few episodes to see how this is brought into the story without any explanation.
Corbin's last scene before his leg injury was S05E14 ("A Bolt From The Blue") .. he is also not present in S05E15 ("Hello I Love You") which is the Walt+Ruth-Anne trip. Maurice was originally supposed to take this trip with Ruth-Anne (minus the romance story). It could be argued that the arc of Walt's relationship with Ruth-Anne was made possible by Barry Corbin's real-life injury.
The first mention of the injury is at Joel's dinner party, S05E16 ("Northern Hospitality") where it is remarked that Maurice couldn't make it "with his leg". Maurice/Corbin is not present for S05E16. Interesting how he wasn't there for the debacle with Chris's radio show (on Maurice's radio station, KBHR) being argued to blame for Edgar Hankins' suicide . And that Maddam Mayor Hancock, who id rarely seen, is the one who calls this town meeting, instead of Maurice.
S05E17 ("Una.Volta.in.L'inverno"), still no Maurice and still no mention of his injury.
Maurice/Corbin Barry doesn't show back up until S05E18 ("Fish Story"), where he jabs at Holling about his "paint by numbers" art. This is the same episode where Ruth-Anne takes her impromptu bike trip and Maurice calls a meeting about Ed re-opening the store. Maurice has two scenes here. One: at the Brick, where he is sitting, no crutches on view. Two: at the town meeting he called to order, and he is leaning on the lectern the entire time, with no crutches in sight.
He is first seen with crutches beginning with S05E19 ("The Gift Of Maggie"), and ending with S05E21 ("I Feel The Earth Move"). Viewers are left with no explanation of how he hurt his leg (in the Northern Exposure universe), or his absence for three whole episodes. See more »